Stable Pakistan essential for peace, progress in region: UK
Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010, 18:14
  
Karachi: Britain on Sunday said a stable and secure Pakistan was essential to have peace and progress in the region.

"It is absolutely essential that there is stability and security in Pakistan if we are to have peace and progress in this region," British Foreign Minister David Miliband told reporters after visiting the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam in Karachi.

Asking for an end to the ongoing political clashes in Karachi, Miliband said the international community was greatly disturbed by the violence in the port city.

"Karachi is the hub of Pakistan's economy and there should be an end to this political violence. It is a city which has opened its arms and offers livelihood to many people who have lived together peacefully for years," he said.

A spate of target killings in the last few weeks has left over 100 people dead in the city with the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement, Awami National party and ruling Pakistan Peoples Party all claiming their workers were being targeted.

Today, the crisis management cell of the federal government asked all parties to submitted names of their workers who have fallen victim to target killings in the city.

The MQM and ANP submitted lists of their killed workers with Faisal Sabzwari, a parliamentarian from MQM, claiming that since last year 80 workers of the party had been gunned down.

Police said atleast 41 people have lost their lives in the last four days in target killings including six since last night.

Miliband said the UK was keen to increase its trade ties with Pakistan and that is why it was keen to see peace in Karachi.

"I have met with young business leaders and industrialists today and have had constructive discussions with them," he said.

Miliband also said last year the United Kingdom had issued more visas to Pakistani nationals then it did in 2008.

"Atleast that is a step in the right direction and something to build on. Contrary to what some people think we are keen to have more Pakistanis come over to UK for studies, business and visits," Miliband said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, January 10, 2010, 18:14


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